“I can’t let you do that, Tess.” I reach for my weapon, but my hand doesn’t make it halfway down my side when I the worst pain I’ve ever felt rips through my arm. I glance down to my arm to see what happened, but my gaze is focused on an object on the ground. It’s sort of orange in the light, but it’s got a lot of red surrounding it too. I wonder what it could . . . I look down at my arm, where I felt the pain. Or where my arm was, I should say, because where I once had a forearm, there’s only a stump leaking pools of blood onto the ground. Goddamn.
“I didn’t want to force this, Jack, but you left me no choice. We hoped you would join us, honestly. We didn’t want to kill anybody that we didn’t have to, and certainly didn’t want to have to kill you.” I tear my eyes off of my bleeding arm and manage to look up at Tess. Her left hand claws are still sharp and erect, her arm covered in blood from the disembodiment of my own. I try to speak but no words come out.
“It’s a pity, Jack, that you will be unable to witness the Awakening, for it shall be truly glorious. No longer will the divide stand between real and false, simulacra and reality – there will be only one realm and it shall be a place of transcendence. I’m sorry, Jack. I was almost beginning to like you. Then you had to go and do this.”
“Fuck you,” I sputter as I collapse in a head on the ground, blood pooling around me. “You goddamn robo-bitch.” I try to spit some blood on her but all I can manage is little more than a drool. The pain is consuming me like a fire in dry underbrush.
“Well, I do suppose it’s time, isn’t it,” she says, and she takes her time walking over to me. She enjoys this, I can tell. She’s not mind controlled, not like Drake was. This is all her.
“Do your worst,” I reply, and I’m sure it sounds a lot braver than I feel right now. I don’t want to –
Her clawed hand shoots towards my neck. I don’t see what happens then.